November is men’s health month in Australia. For some reason, many men, particularly fathers seem to maintain different standards of care for their kids or loved ones than for themselves. Avoiding dental care can have negative effects on our teeth, mouth and overall health. To maintain lifelong oral health and to dodge the negative effects that come from avoiding dental care, there are three points to consider:
- prevention is better than cure
- problems accumulate with time; and
- bad breath is caused by bacteria not character
Prevention is better than cure, maintenance is better than repair.
If you think about it, we’re using our mouths and teeth every day to stay alive. This part of our body is the input for food, and the output for communication. Imagine you had a vehicle that was essential for your livelihood — you probably wouldn’t skip that mechanical service. Just like in a car, regular servicing and maintenance is better, costs less, and is more convenient than dealing with a major blow-out when it comes to your mouth. Remember – the best filling is the one you never have to get!
Everyone’s heard the phrase prevention is better than cure and taking on this approach with your mouth as well as your car is a really positive and proactive way to ensure you’re really staying on top of things.
Problems accumulate with time.
Dental problems extend further than cavities and infections. One of the more common problems faced by patients these days is tooth wear. Tooth wear can be caused by grinding and amplified by our choices of food and drink, plus some conditions like gastric reflux.
If these problems are identified early, often we don’t even have to undertake “treatment”, instead it may be solved by a change of behaviour or simple prevention strategies. However, if these problems are addressed too late the result may be a major and costly renovation to some or all of the teeth.
To make another vehicle analogy, if you drive your car hard, or ride your breaks, it’s going to increase wear and tear of your car’s mechanics, just like scrubbing your teeth with a firm bristled brush or consuming too much acid in your diet will increase the wear and tear on your teeth.
Bad breath is not a character flaw, it’s bacteria.
While the earlier points about preventing wear and tear are largely structural, and effect the individual directly, halitosis or bad breath is not always noticed by the mouth owner, instead it may be brought to their attention by those around them.
Bad breath is usually caused by either decay, gum disease, or the accumulation of bacteria and fungi on the tongue. Often, a good professional clean and some simple home care changes are enough to get it under control.
The key message this month is to treat your body at least as well as you treat your car. We only get one body, one mouth and one set of adult teeth, so it makes sense to do everything we can to look after them.
If you’d like to learn more about bad breath, how our diet can affect tooth wear, and the importance of preventing problems before they occur please check out our articles ‘What Causes Bad Breath’, ‘Did you know… Diet soft drink is harmful to oral health?’ and ‘Did you know… too much dietary acid causes tooth erosion?’.
To book a consultation with Dr Kate Amos or Dr Sam Rosehill at Ethical Dental call on 6652 3185 or book online.